Photos: New Trampoline/Extreme Sports Park Opens in Florence
The former Babies R Us store in Florence is now unrecognizable.
The building at 4999 Houston Road is now home to Defy Florence, an indoor trampoline and extreme sports attraction.
The colorful facility is full of opportunities for people to bounce, run, hang, swing, twist, and test their physical skills to the limit.
"This is a place for everybody," said Jonathan Castro, Defy Florence's manager. "I just signed a mom and her one-and-a-half-year old child to take part in classes."
The 33,000-sq. ft. interior boasts foam pits, rock walls, slack lines, parkour pits, euro trampolines, and a complete ninja course with warp walls at the end. Castro said the business can change out the challenges, just like the TV show American Ninja Warrior.
There is also a screened section where soccer teams can practice, and sections to joust and knock an opponent from the battle beams into the foam pit.
Defy, which is a national chain with locations across the country, can fit two hundred people inside every hour, changing groups every fifteen minutes.
The entire area was built by Wright Construction. Randy Reno oversaw the project for Wright.
"It was a tough job," Reno said. "You had to meet a time deadline, as usual, but it isn't a usual building project. The company was very good to work for, though. And this place is really neat."
Defy Florence opened on November 8, but hosted an official ribbon-cutting on Monday afternoon. Members from Wright Construction were there, along with Florence Mayor Diane Whalen and the city's police and fire chiefs.
"This is the kind of thing people have been asking for," said Mayor Whalen. "A place where they can go to have fun, take the kids, and just enjoy themselves. This is what we've been looking for. This is the first, and then we have one called Foam Warriors which will open on Mall Road. But people want this kind of thing. I can't wait to bring my grandchildren here."
Written by Patricia A. Scheyer, RCN contributor